Philomene Pirecki has incorporated the structure and temporal dimension of the revolving cube display that houses the Clockwork Gallery - located beneath a public clock outside the underground station Hallesches Tor in Berlin - to create a process- based artwork interdependent with the environment in which it is located. The artist has treated the plexiglass panels that protect advertisement posters, or in this case artworks with two different types of colour changing paint. One panel is coated with an opaque hydrochromic paint that turns transparent when wet, revealing the colour blue on the inside, while the other, applied with a pale, off-white photochromic paint, changes orange when exposed to daylight; the brightness of which increasing the greater the intensity of the sun. The choices of colour represent these changes through each solution's associative temperatures: 'hot' (light) and 'cold' (water). Both paints return to their original states when dry or no longer exposed to light.
The appearance of both of these panels will continually change during the length of the exhibition, as the paints react to a day/night cycle and to changes in the weather outside. The slow rotation of the display itself becomes a further determinant, as it means that they will never remain fixed counter to these conditions. The concept of the work however can be extrapolated beyond the space it occupies, and in particular considered in terms of time - as represented by the clock above the work. In this sense it becomes a visual measure, mirror or recording device repeatedly contingent on the present.
It is possible that over the duration of the exhibition, the very catalysts that activate the piece - light and water - begin to destroy it through repeated exposure and the work will undergo a process of entropy, potentially deteriorating through sustained use. The photochromic paint can also be thought of as a form of constant photographic exposure; whereby the latent colour is re-activated by the material's light-sensitive property rather than developing a static, representative image.
A common response to public art commissions is to consider the artwork in relation to advertising, especially within a commercially entrenched, urban space. Compared with the controlled, neutral exhibition space, which is distinctly emptied or voided of this particular concern, an artistic position might be to compete and respond in accord to an externalization of the work and because of this condition, public art often has a tendency toward the monumental and permanent. With this in mind, Pirecki's work manifests a form of degeneration, more aligned with processuality; creating an unstable image that exists in relation to advertising. In this sense the artist continues to make use of an indeterminable aspect of the photographic imprint, except this time in an unmediated public realm where the material is an active agent. Rather than determining what ultimately constitutes, or whether there exists, a finished state to the piece, it is keeping with what the artist describes in previous work as 'reflecting past and current time or place; the present is literally reflected in the work and the past is embedded in it as an image or series of images, as a kind of visual memory.' Ultimately, Pirecki's decision to consider the display less as a form of presentation means that it exists more in terms of its presence within a system of conditional processes.
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